When I arrived, he was standing there, looking so handsome I can’t even tell you, holding 18 long-stemmed pink roses. I knew the affair couldn’t have gone on in that way, but I’d pushed that fact to one side. I know he was hoping I’d leave my husband, but it wasn’t ever talked about.” Whispered words, illicit desires, yet nothing of reality. We have our tense moments, but we both make sure to pull back.” “In what way? ” “Losing my home, my security.” When I discovered my own husband’s affair, he was never allowed back into our house.Laura never speaks directly to her husband of their estrangement; she never spoke to Matthew of the real impediments to a permanent relationship. ” “Anything that’s not about the weather or what’s for dinner is fraught with danger. Someone said, “If you wouldn’t even listen to his explanation, then you must have been simply waiting for the opportunity to end your marriage.” It took me a long time to accept that she was right, that I needed that kick in the head to give me the courage to finally take control.As the wedding got closer, I did begin to have doubts, but you get so wrapped up in plans, and by then the dress was bought and the reception hall was booked. There was no way I could call off the wedding.” Laura relaxes as she speaks, searching for cause and effect, a little surprised at her own daring in telling me these things. But sex wasn’t as good as it was before we got married. His room was on my floor and he was waiting for me. It was a very long corridor and he was standing at the end, but I couldn’t really see him as there was a window behind him and the light coming in made him just a dark shadow. The sex happened quite quickly and didn’t last long, perhaps because we’d had a bit to drink, but it was exciting to have someone touch my body. I’d never been unfaithful, and so the fact that I’d planned every step, knowing what was going to happen in the end, was too much for me. She was loved, “the whole package.” The scenes she paints—the cornfield, the dog, the request for a kiss—are the scenes of a movie.I recall being 19, desperate for love, or at least for an idea of love—an escape from life in my parents’ house. I think because it wasn’t taboo anymore there was no excitement. Walking down that hall toward him was one of the most exciting moments of my life. I spent the whole day in bed with the curtains drawn. It is still the fairy tale, still dressed with sugared almonds.” “I know a lot more now than when I first got married.
It was my first experience and I knew nothing at all. I thought you could only have one orgasm, so when I felt it building I’d suppress it because I didn’t want things to be over too soon. He booked a room for me with a king-size bed and Jacuzzi. I thought I was ready mentally, but I wasn’t prepared for the intensity of it. As with the brief Portland affair, the descriptions of dresses, underwear, flowers, how he opened the car door or held her chair, remain in vivid detail.
Friends dreamt of bridal gowns and sugared almonds and happily-ever-after; I desired a garret and its resident poet. The second night we went out for dinner but didn’t do anything. We continued to write, and I was hoping that we’d still be able to get together once in a while. ” “He’d been married less than two years, Laura,” I said. “I went back to the chat room because I liked the interaction and the flirting. Matthew was divorced, a successful lawyer in Florida. I opened up a post office box so he could send me real letters and photos—his dog, his kids, house, car, friends. “We drove home through the back roads and passed alongside a cornfield. I said I’d love to walk through that, and he stopped the car and we walked through this tall, tall corn. I recall her comment on how good premarital sex had been, how the taboo of it heightened the thrill, how the thrill dissipated within convention.
“Then seven years ago my father died, only a short time after the death of my mother. I remember him patting me on the back, telling me it would all be fine. A little after that he was ill and we slept apart for a week or so. It was as if a switch had been turned on all of a sudden. And I hadn’t even slept with a man.” I remember my own first relationship after divorce, rediscovering the pleasures of lust and femininity—things that had imperceptibly seeped away year by year.
I will not show her my knee-jerk resistance to this tale of adultery that offers no apology. “Tell me about your marriage before you say anything of the affairs.” “I married at 19. Older men would approach me and I was so naive, I didn’t know what was going on. It was love at first sight, but I realize now I was looking for someone to love me. So, I don’t think we should share a room anymore.’ He turned and left. He was in the hospital once for appendicitis and was in a lot of pain. “I agreed to meet him in Portland for two days,” continued Laura.
He was very attractive, and at 22 he already had a good job. It hadn’t been acceptable that I’d move out on my own; I think my parents were relieved that someone was going to take care of me. He never said anything, and we never talked about it.” “Nothing? I wanted him to know that I really cared about him, so I leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. That was the last time we touched.” “How can you function within the house or when you have friends over? “I told my husband I was going on a shopping trip to Toronto.